The militant group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) became quite controversial when they occupied the housing units in Pandi, Bulacan on March 8. The units were initially promised to police and military personnel. However, President Rodrigo Duterte ended up giving those units away to Kadamay.
“I will ask you soldiers and policemen, bitawan ‘nyo na lang ‘yan, ibigay na lang natin sa kanila kasi mahirap sila,” Duterte said on April 4 during the Philippine Army’s anniversary.
President Duterte also told Kadamay not to touch the soldiers and police if they don’t want to risk getting kicked out.
Just a few days ago, articles surfaced on Facebook claiming that some Kadamay members are selling their housing rights. The story came from Okd2.com, which the website claimed to have come from “a Facebook user and resident of Bustos, Bulacan” who wanted to conceal his identity.
Okd2 said that their source told them how some of his neighbors in Bustos are planning on occupying around 50 unoccupied housing units in Pandi and sell them to people from Metro Manila for P15,000 to P25,000 with the help of a Kadamay organizer. The source added that he heard one of his neighbors boasting about selling three housing units for P60,000 last month to non-Kadamay members from Navotas and that he knew a family of Kadamay members who occupied four units and sold two to latecomers also in April.
Okd2 even posted what appeared to be a screenshot of a message sent to them by a source, claiming the same thing about the Kadamay members and even calling them “professional squatters.”
As of writing, we could not confirm Kadamay’s story.
But they followed it up with another story involving Senator Risa Hontiveros, who allegedly said to let the Kadamay members be because they now own the units anyway after getting permission from President Duterte himself. This time, Okd2 claims that they heard about this reaction from the lady senator from an “insider.”
Hontiveros was quoted saying in the Okd2 article, “Ibinigay na ni Presidente sa kanila yan, bahala sila kung ano ang gawin nila. Kanila na yan.”
This statement allegedly surprised the senator’s staff, even leading six of them to file a half day leave of absence on May 19.
Okd2 also noted how Hontiveros “consistently supports” leftist groups like Kadamay and how she allegedly visited the Kadamay in Pandi, Bulacan.
However, Okd2 is once again making claims that we could not verify. It seems like it is the only website carrying these stories since May 20 about Kadamay selling their housing rights and Senator Hontiveros defending them or even visiting them in Pandi.
While Hontiveros is indeed a member of the activist group Akbayan, we found out that Akabayan has ideological differences with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), to which Kadamay is affiliated with.
According to former CHR chairwoman Loretta Ann Rosales, the occupation of the housing units by Kadamay was used as a “pressure tactic” for the rebels to gain an upperhand in the ongoing peace talks with the Philippine government.
“(After) housing occupation, mamaya land occupation na ang mangyayari dyan. It’s not far-fetched. Kabahagi yan nung pressures that are being given on the ground for the peace process,” Rosales told ABS-CBN News.
However, Kadamay leader Gloria Arellano denied Rosales’ claims, saying that it was just a coincidence that the poor Filipinos no longer have houses they can call their own.
“Nagkataon na lang yan. Dumating na lang po talaga sap unto na ang mga maralita ay ang dami nang walang tahanan,” Arellano said.
Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes also denied Rosales’ insinuations about the National Democractic Front using the poor for the peace talks.
While Rosales conceded to how the poor also need a chance to have their own home, with rights also come responsibilities.
“Theoretically dapat lang naman talaga kasi yung mga mahihirap mas mabigyan ng pagkakataon para so that they can have their own homes. But rights also have responsibilities,” Rosales said.
Okd2.com claimed to have obtained their story from anonymous tipsters and an insider, but these are still all unconfirmed right now. We do have every reason to doubt Okd2’s claims because of the long list of fake stories they have published on their site, such as PNoy, Roxas, and Soliman facing graft charges in an international court, fans snubbing Jim Paredes’ concert, Hontiveros wanting to raise the senor citizen age requirement to 65, VP vote recount being scheduled on May 27, and more.